spiritual awareness and growth can effect a transformation in your whole being.
It is not my intent to propose any particular view of spirituality in this part of my website. My intent here is to emphasize that there is much healing and benefit to be obtained by cultivating it in your life. It can help you develop a basic trust and faith which is unshakable.
If need be, this can be seen as being distinct from religion. It refers to the common experience behind several points of view involving an awareness of and relationship with something that transcends your personal self and the “human order” of things.
For the purposes of this section of my website, I will simply refer to this as your higher power. You can choose to define what that means for yourself in whatever way feels most appropriate.
Your own higher power can be traditional, or as abstract as the concept of a “cosmic consciousness.” Even if you regard yourself as agnostic or atheist, you may get a spiritual sense of inspiration by taking a walk and witnessing a beautiful sunset. Your higher power is anything that inspires you and takes you beyond yourself and into a larger perspective.
Developing a relationship with your higher power will not necessarily cure a specific phobia or obsession, but it will provide moral support, courage, hope and motivation to follow through with your recovery plan.
It can provide you with a sense that you are not alone, and there is always a source of guidance and support that is available at times of confusion and discouragement.
There are some specific benefits to be gained by developing your spiritual growth and awareness. It is important to understand however, that no one pursues spiritual growth just to get such benefits. You will develop yourself spiritually only because you feel a deep inner prompting to do so. The benefits are simply a consequence of making that choice. These benefits include:
Security and safety
You will feel increasingly safe as you come to believe that there is a source you can always turn to in times of difficulty. There is much inner security to be gained through the understanding that there is no problem or difficulty, however great that cannot be resolved with the help of your higher power.
Peace of mind
The more reliance and trust you develop in your higher power, the easier it becomes to live without fear or worry about the inevitable challenges life will throw your way. You simply will learn to “let go” and turn to your higher power when you feel stuck with a problem and don’t know how to proceed.
A spiritual relationship will help you be patient when solutions to problems aren’t immediately apparent. This will work to significantly reduce anxiety. With the absence of anxiety comes peace of mind.
As you develop a relationship with your higher power, you come to remember that you did not create yourself. It reminds you that you are a part of this universe just as much as the birds, stars, and plant life. Developing a relationship with your higher power will help you believe that this is a supportive universe we live in, and in essence you are good, lovable, and worthy of respect just by virtue of the fact that you are here.
Whatever choices you make, you are still inherently good and worthwhile. Your own judgments of self, however negative, do not ultimately count if you are a creation of the universe as much as everything else.
Of course it is a mistake to assume that this type of reasoning can be used to justify ignorant or unethical behavior. It’s important to keep in mind the distinction between how a person behaves and what they are in essence. A higher power will help keep you “in check” when it comes to choosing your behavior, because it will remind you that you are here for a good purpose.
The capacity to give and receive unconditional love
The most fundamental characteristic of your higher power is that it offers you an experience of unconditional love. This is a kind of love that differs from romantic love or ordinary friendship. It entails an absolute caring for the welfare of another without any conditions. As you develop a deeper connection with your higher power, you come to experience greater degrees of unconditional love in your life. You will feel your heart opening more easily to people and their concerns. You will feel free of judgment toward them, knowing that they are also a creation and whatever their struggles, they are also here for a good purpose. This will also help free you from making comparisons among people.
Unconditional love shows up in both your increased capacity to give love to others and to experience more of it coming into your life. You begin to experience less fear and more joy in your life, and to help inspire others to experience their own capacity for unconditional love. This kind of love also comes from the experience of knowing that you have everything you need in your life to get on with whatever you want to do.
Developing a relationship with your higher power will provide you with guidance for making decisions and solving problems. Your higher power has a universal wisdom that goes beyond what you can accomplish with your own intellect. I traditional religions, this is referred to as the “All knowingness of God” Through connecting with your higher power, you can draw upon this greater wisdom to help you through difficulties in life.
By learning to ask your higher power for guidance, you will be surprised to find that every sincere request sooner or later is answered in some way. And the quality of that answer generally exceeds what you could have figured out through your own conscious intellect or will. This experience will give you a sense of peace knowing that you don’t have to have all the answers for your self.
By no means are these the only benefits of a relationship with your higher power. Every benefit can contribute in a significant way to your personal recovery process.
The particular path you choose whether traditional or nontraditional is up to you. In any case, the extent and sincerity of your commitment to your chosen path will determine the degree of personal healing you experience. You will find that the more often you draw close to your higher power, the easier it becomes to do so, and the less fear and instability you will experience.
It is very unlikely (but possible in some rare cases) that developing a relationship with your higher power is all that is necessary for you to overcome your problem with panic, phobias, mania, depression, or anxiety. The healing process in any case does not happen overnight. You’re still going to need to draw on other strategies to deal with your particular struggles. Coping strategies, expressing feelings, and working on self esteem will all be necessary and will take time.
What developing your spiritual strength can do is give you the inspiration, hope and courage to persist in following through with your recovery program. It can also give you powerful means to break through to your next step forward at those times when you’re feeling stuck, discouraged, or confused.
Treatment plan Day 7